We all love numbers, rankings, and lists; herald the best of anything, and we're seduced. At PW, we get to pick the books published this year that stayed with us, that we talked up, handed around, and of course argued about among ourselves. The reviews staff was generally crazy for Eugenides's The Marriage Plot, and Ann Patchett's bestselling State of Wonder got on for being just terrific, while Tina Fey (Bossypants) is our celebrity who can write. We paid tribute to the big guns taking on the big guns: Robert Massie's Catherine the Great, Paul Hendrickson's Hemingway's Boat, and Christopher Hitchens being himself in Arguably, his collected essays. But we also reached out with Donald Ray Pollock's heart-racing The Devil All the Time, Ali Smith and her disconcerting party guest (There but for the) and Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina's coming-of-age, One Day I Will Write About This Place. —Louisa Ermelino
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